“That’s true,” said Frank; “and it would be a great thing to rid the country of him. Do you remember the way he rode a-top of that poor bitch of mine the other day—Goneaway, you know; the best bitch in the pack?”
“Indeed I do,” said the parson; “but for all that, she wasn’t the best bitch in the pack: she hadn’t half the nose of Gaylass.”
“But, as I was saying, Armstrong, it would be a great thing to rid the country of Barry Lynch.”
“Indeed it would.”
“And there’d be nothing then to prevent young Kelly marrying Anty at once.”
“Make him give his consent in writing before you let him go,” said Armstrong.
“I’ll tell you what, Doctor Colligan,” said Frank; “do you get into your own gig, and follow us on, and I’ll talk the matter over with Mr Armstrong.”
The doctor again returned to his buggy, and the parson to his own seat, and Lord Ballindine drove off at a pace which made it difficult enough for Doctor Colligan to keep him in sight.
“I don’t know how far we can trust that apothecary,” said Frank to his friend.
“He’s an honest man, I believe,” said Armstrong, “though he’s a dirty, drunken blackguard.”
“Maybe he was drunk this evening, at Lynch’s?”
“I was wrong to call him a drunkard. I believe he doesn’t get drunk, though he’s always drinking. But you may take my word for it, what he’s telling you now is as true as gospel. If he was telling a lie from malice, he’d be louder, and more urgent about it: you see he’s half afraid to speak, as it is. He would not have come near you at all, only his conscience makes him afraid to keep the matter to himself. You may take my word for it, Ballindine, Barry Lynch did propose to him to murder his sister. Indeed, it doesn’t surprise me. He is so utterly worthless.”
“But murder, Armstrong! downright murder; of the worst kind; studied—premeditated. He must have been thinking of it, and planning it, for days. A man may be worthless, and yet not such a wretch as that would make him. Can you really think he meant Colligan to murder his sister?”
“I can, and do think so,” said the parson. “The temptation was great: he had been waiting for his sister’s death; and he could not bring himself to bear disappointment. I do not think he could do it with his own hand, for he is a coward; but I can quite believe that he could instigate another person to do it.”
“Then I’d hang him. I wouldn’t raise my hand to save him from the rope!”
“Nor would I: but we can’t hang him. We can do nothing to him, if he defies us; but, if he’s well handled, we can drive him from the country.”
The lord and the parson talked the matter over till they reached Dunmore, and agreed that they would go, with Colligan, to Barry Lynch; tell him of the charge which was brought against him, and give him his option of standing his trial, or of leaving the country, under a written promise that he would never return to it. In this case, he was also to write a note to Anty, signifying his consent that she should marry Martin Kelly, and also execute some deed by which all control over the property should be taken out of his own hands; and that he should agree to receive his income, whatever it might be, through the hands of an agent.